Spinal Health Throughout Pregnancy
Pregnancy can undoubtedly be a stressful time for any mother. Planning and preparing are only a fraction of the process. During a pregnancy, much focus is placed on what should be done regarding the health of the child, which is certainly of extreme importance. However, a mother-to-be must also be sure to take care of her own health, particularly those future moms dealing with pre-existing spinal cord injuries or spinal related conditions. Here are a few recommendations to help maintain your health during pregnancy and beyond.
- Take appropriate amounts of vitamins and minerals. Not only are deficiencies linked to women with spinal cord injuries, but also a lack of certain vitamins, such as folic acid, has been linked to spinal defects in unborn children.
- Make sure your doctor is consistently obtaining urine cultures. Various urinary conditions, such as pyelonephritis, occur more regularly and more severely in women with spinal cord injuries. As such, it is extremely important to closely monitor these conditions throughout the pregnancy in order to treat any possible infections.
Perhaps the primary complication that can occur among women with spinal conditions or injuries is autonomic dysreflexia, which creates an over-activity of the autonomic nervous system. This complication can be triggered by enlargement of the bladder, urethra, and other vital areas; all of which may be affected during the labor process. With the prevalence of this complication, it is critical that both the patient and doctor are aware of its symptoms and treatments.
Pregnancy can be a less than easy process for any mother. If you or someone you know is pregnant or planning for pregnancy and has been affected by any spinal conditions, it is smart to be armed with all the right questions to ask your physician. Please do not hesitate to contact me regarding questions or concerns.